Will The Real Foodie Pen Pal Please Stand Up?

by Sarah on February 28, 2012 · 19 comments

Hi, my name is–[What?]

My name is–[Who?]

My name is –[Wicka-Wicka]–Two-Timing Pen Pal!

That’s right, y’all. I was a bit of a two-timing blogger pen pal this month. It’s just that I simply can’t resist a good foodie swap! So, even though I had already signed up for my usual Lean Green Bean-arranged Foodie Pen Pals shipment, once I heard about Christina’s Valentine’s Day Gift Swap at Hungry Meets Healthy, I had to participate in that, too. And I’m certainly glad I did. :)I was matched up with Bridget, who is an English-teaching blog reader from the Midwest. I hate to say that I failed her…but she really outdid herself on my “day of love” present!I’ve actually stashed most of the snacks away (but she clearly understands the teacher dining style of “What can I eat quickly before the kids come back?”), but that tea had to be tried immediately. I love it so much that despite all of the wine present at Book Club on Sunday evening……I chose to drink some of it instead! [And I swear, it’s not because I might have had a lot of wine over the weekend and just couldn’t stomach any more. I swear.]As for those Pita Bites…not only did they take me back to my days working as a Foodie at Central Market in Austin [where we used them to sample out, well, everything: mustard, pumpkin butter, you name it!], they provided the perfect pairing–at that same Book Club meeting–for the remaining homemade pimiento cheese from my temporary anti-vegan collapse over the weekend.All I did was ship off some Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter, two types of homemade quinoa cookies, assorted teas, and granola. Really, Bridget, you were…TWO Kind. (Get it? Get it? Heeheehee…)For what I consider the “real” (or should we just say “original and most continuous of which I have been a part?”) Foodie Pen Pal Exchange, organized each month by the genius (and my future Blend Retreat roomie!) that is Lindsay Livingston, I mailed off some yummy treats to Karen, and in return I received a package from Tory that was less snackable than my Valentine’s Day gift……but no less fantastically fun! [Thank you SO much, Tory!]Considering I’ve developed a nightly tea addiction habit, the decaf tea was a perfect gift. As for the cranberry mustard…well, when you discover that I have–on more than one occasion–eaten lettuce covered in mustard and ketchup and called it a salad…that, too, was quite timely. The black sea salt found its way on some homemade (black) salt-and-vinegar potato ‘chips’ I made once over the weekend for Mr. Mason Jar…and again last night for myself. :)I also found it added some nice polka-dot-esque adornment to one of the Texas Rio Grapefruits I received from TexaSweet and roasted with cumin, pepper, and (black) sea salt.Perhaps my strangest creation (and inspiration) came from the Tropical Pepper Co. Mango Coconut Pepper Sauce.The sweet essence of mango puree–with only the slightest hint of coconut–that rounds out with a one-two-lightning punch of pepper at the end…well, let’s just say I ate could eat this with a spoon. I also discovered it tasted great with strawberries. [‘Tis best not to ask questions, I imagine.]This resulted in one of my stranger lunches to date: roasted carnival squash, brown rice, and cooked strawberries.Think what you want about it–even if it’s just, “Wow, isn’t it cool how the squash and the strawberries look like hearts?”–but it was GOOD y’all.And I’m now fixated on coming up with some sort of tropical, savory strawberry sauce. [Especially as strawberries are on sale this week…]Do you, too, want to have the opportunity to receive assorted foodie presents from around the country? Do you, too, want to have the opportunity to dip your cucumbers into Mango Coconut Pepper Sauce?

Be a March Foodie Pen Pal!

Please send an email to everyone’s favorite lean green organizing queen, Lindsay, at theleangreenbean@gmail.com and  include the following information:
-Your full name
-Your email address
-Your blog name/address (if you’ve got one)
-Your twitter handle (if applicable)
-Whether you sing The Star-Spangled Banner or Oh, Canada!

She will need to hear from you by March 4th as pairings will be emailed on February 5th! [And thank her for organizing this while you’re at it. ;) ]

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Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean February 28, 2012 at 8:13 am

you’re such an overachiever. that’s why i love you :)

Parita @ myinnershakti February 28, 2012 at 9:00 am

2x the fun for you this month! I love it! That black sea salt sounds like it would be good sprinkled on top of most anything! :)

Mattie @ Comfy and Confident February 28, 2012 at 9:17 am

Two penpals in one month!? no wonder you have been feeling overwhelmed! Everything looks very good and worth it.

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table February 28, 2012 at 10:35 am

You hit the jackpot!! Everything looks like so much fun to try.

Is it strange that I looked at your strange meal and thought “that looks fantastic!”?

Julie February 28, 2012 at 10:51 am

That looks like one of the best penpals! Is Hemp Hearts oatmeal cause I’d love to try that.

Sarah February 28, 2012 at 10:01 pm

From what I can tell, the Hemp Hearts are just shelled hemp seeds…making them easier to digest and/or consume, perhaps? I will have to try them out soon. :)

teabagginit February 28, 2012 at 1:25 pm

whenever i see baked squash i picture it saying, “get in my belly” and then filling it with whatever food is being eaten alongside it … yup, i might be weirder than you!

Katie @ Nutrition in a peanut shell February 28, 2012 at 5:34 pm

I thought I was the only one who squirted ketchup on salads… glad to know I’m not the only weird one :)

Sarah February 28, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Ketchup, BBQ Sauce, mustard…lettuce makes a delicious vehicle for getting these into my mouth.

Candy @ Healthy In Candy Land February 28, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Great stuff! I’ve never had grapefruit with savory spices on it before. I’m strangely intrigued and thinking I may try this tonight with the lonely single grapefruit in the crisper who’s been hanging out with all his lemon and apple friends for some time now…

Sarah February 28, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Grapefruit and cumin make a delicious match! I would suggest pairing with avocado…

Leila @ Spinach and Skittles February 28, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Your box is making me crave summer foods, and, well, summer itself!

Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count February 29, 2012 at 7:57 am

That all looks so yummy!

Nicole February 29, 2012 at 3:59 pm

I love the idea of two foodie packages in one month. Very nice!! :)

Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli March 2, 2012 at 9:51 am

As one who has been known on occasion (ok, maybe like 2-3 times a week) to squirt mustard into a can of tuna and eat it OUT OF THE CAN while leaning against the kitchen counter, I totally condone the practice of preparing mustard and ketchup covered “salads”! 😉

So I’ve seen you post about the foodie pen pal exchange before, but NOW I’m really curious….must’ve been the mango sauce! I’m off to send Lindsay an email now!

PS, those pita chips are SO addicting…but just FYI, if in a drunken stupor, you happen to demolish half a bag of them by yourself, you will NEVER want to even look at another one ever again….not that I would know for sure…just a guess! 😉

Diana @ VeggieNextDoor March 2, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Mango Puree, Cranberry Mustard, and Black Salt? Foodie heaven!

I love your idea of a savory-spiced roast grapefruit – so original!

Sarah March 3, 2012 at 8:32 am

Thanks! I’ll be posting about the grapefruit in a few days, so be on the look-out. It’s really easy though, so I hate to take any sort of “credit” for it whatsoever. :)

Bridget B. March 30, 2012 at 10:26 am

I just saw this post from a link through the Foodie Penpals program. I am so glad you enjoyed it all! I enjoyed eating all of your homemade goodies as well. :) Your efforts were very much appreciated!

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